Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Holidays! And yes, I mean that!

Photo taken at Gaylord Opryland Hotel's exhibit, ICE: A Charlie Brown Christmas, 12/7/09

I am really tired of all the warring that goes on this time of year over "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas"!!!! So, I'm going to give you MY thoughts on it. Whether you find something to think about or not, I'm leaving totally in the Spirit's hands. But it's gone SO far lately, I HAVE to speak up. :)

So. Is it "Merry Christmas" and ONLY "Merry Christmas" for you? I hope you'll take this post in the spirit it's meant; it's been brewing in my heart for a while now. :)

There are several things I hear around this time of year about how people are trying to force "Merry Christmas" from our society, and we can't let this happen, and how dare they! Dear ones, I am here to tell you that, while it does matter what YOU celebrate, it doesn't matter what someone else says to you!

First, let's tackle the famous "Don't use Xmas - it takes Christ out of Christmas!" The truth of the matter is, the letter X is formed the same way as the first Greek letter of "Christ". It's been used since His ascension by believers to represent His name. "Xmas" doesn't take Him out of it, dear one. :) I promise! Google it, see what Wikipedia has to say.

Word studies are VERY interesting! Here's another one I hear: "Happy Holidays" just means they're being politically correct, trying to include ALL religions at OUR special celebration!

I'm trying really hard not to be sarcastic, but two things come to my mind. First of all, "OUR celebration" has become so commercialized that it really isn't "ours" anymore - and what do you expect retailers to do? If you're trying to make money, why would you exclude anyone?? It doesn't make sense - and honestly, it makes me cringe when I see so much nastiness abound about this subject. I believe in taking a stand about what I believe - but trying to force the rest of the world into doing what one group wants much less BELIEVING what I do, just isn't going to happen. As a matter of fact, it turns more people away. And I don't think that's what Christ wants from us. Do you?

The second thing is, let's look at this word, "holiday". Yup. It's from HOLY DAY. Wikipedia again: A holiday is, in the English-speaking world, a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observation is warranted.

Let's see. The government observes several days during this season. That would make it "holidays", wouldn't it? Seems like it.

The only way that "Happy Holidays" becomes a bad thing, in my opinion, is when it means "Merry Christmas" is not allowed. Then it's not an inclusionary thing, but an exclusionary. So, if a store will not sell anything with "Merry Christmas" on it, or allow "Christmas carols" to be played over its loudspeakers, then I think there's a problem. But it IS a holy day for Christians, is it not? How, then, can being wished "Happy Holidays" HURT YOU???????????????????? The person saying it doesn't mean it as a bash to you, do they? I don't think so, for about 99.75% of the people who use it as a greeting. Heavens, even *I* use it! I use the plural - and include New Year's in the wishing. You don't think I mean to block your Christmas, do you?

:) I hope what I'm saying makes sense to you so far!

Biblically, there is no imperative to celebrate the coming of Christ. If you look at the history of "Christmas", it might surprise you -it's widely held that the Catholic church couldn't suppress the pagan worship on the Winter Solstice, so it was decided to change the celebration from pagan to holy. There's a LOT of interesting information out there, if you decide to go looking!

The bottom line, for me, is this: I CHOOSE to use December 25 as the day to "officially" celebrate Jesus' birth. But unless it lives in my heart ALL YEAR THROUGH, it's just another day. Unless I am daily striving to die to myself, and my selfish desires, and show the world the love God showed in sending His Son, Christmas doesn't really matter. Why on earth would anyone want to celebrate the Christian's holy day when they are treated with ridicule and contempt over WORDS?

Please, dear one, hear what I'm saying: actions speak SO MUCH louder than words. This HOLIDAY season, take the opportunity to share WHY you believe Christmas is true. Share the AMAZING LOVE that made the holiday celebration-worthy. Meet someone's need, and watch their hearts open to hear what you have to say, IN LOVE.

Glory to God in the highest!
And on Earth, peace! Goodwill toward men!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, dear one. You are SO loved! Let His love light your day!

No comments: